Sunday, April 29, 2007

the jersey shore

well shore of the hudson anyway.

before the pack of us headed out, i was recruited to run at the tail end of our very-long-single-file-line over the bridge. because the north side was closed, and there would be a lot of cyclists, ramon threatened to cancel the run if he saw us running anything but single file, and i was bringing up the tail-end. we didn't want to lose anyone.

i was more than happy to take it slow given my shins were as achy as ever. it was beautiful out. for once i was smart and had put on some sunscreen. downtown was hazy and looked like a backdrop rather than actual buildings. and before you knew it, we were on the jersey side, up and down a few sets of stairs...and onto the jersey sidewalk.

once upon a time an agency i worked at had its summer party at the park we were going to so i had fairly good idea of where we were going, down a lot of hills we were going to have to run back up at the end of our adventure. :( i decided not to think about it. we were running for time, vs. distance, for a maximum of 2 hours and 50 minutes, so 1:25 out and back. once we were in the park i broke from the back of the pack and headed out at a pretty good pace.

when we got to the first rotery, ramon was there with the car and said bathrooms were down the hill, and if we didn't want to run back up, then we could keep going along the water until we hit then next set of bathrooms, we would come back up. this sounded like a pretty good idea, and 5 of us headed down, right to the picnic grounds where the party had been.

unfortunatly the boathouse was closed so we took off along a path that started out picturesque and soon turned muddy as hell. we were annoyed at being slowed down, but easily found the humor in the situation as we jumped over/in/around the muck. we finally arrived at bathroom number two, legs and shoes dirtier than they had been, only to find that closed as well. hmmm. one of the funny things about running is it makes you care a lot less about things like - is anyone going to see me pee? there was a fenced in building that i momentarily was nervous was some how associated with electricity (i had visions of being electrocuted while peeing, ending up pants down in the woods. what a fate.) but got over it and we were off again, uphill where ramon was waiting with water and pretzles.

that was only around 4.5 miles, and we had been out for about an hour because of the walking, so we decided to go a little farther time wise than just 1:25 since we had the walking-through-the-mud portion. when we left ramon we went down a very long downhill, and continued yacking and chatting. we started seeing lots of folks coming back, and after about 40 minutes or so, me and another girl headed back.

and heading back was rough. it was all all all hill. and they were not short. they were long, torturous monsters of hills. the last, leaving the park and the first 1/4 of a mile or so after was *the* worst. super steep. traffic everywhere. when we got back to the bridge, i wanted to jump for joy because it was so flat, but i didn't really have the energy. i enjoyed the rest of the run back to our little meeting place, and as randy drove the rookie and i home, i was a tired but happy camper. it was the hardest training run i'd had this season or last, and i was feeling pretty okay.

jersey mileage: 14.0*
felt like: 16+
miles to date: 131.8

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